Published January 17, 2023 at 5:30 AM EST
The violence of the sexual harassment competition that started with the suicide of a gym owner in Greenville five months ago has spread across the country to the 7th state, California.
It is the latest in a long, twisted drama tied to allegations that adults knew and benefited from the abuse of children.
“It’s like other games that have been counted, this is counting the joy in the whole country,” says Bakari Sellers, one of the team of lawyers from South Carolina who is accused of the crime.
In all, 12, civil charges filed against 22 plaintiffs name 15 coaches, two choreographers and six gyms as they describe a practice of sexual abuse, drugs and pornography in competitive cheerleading. The suits also accuse other elite cheerleading organizations of conspiracy to fail to protect minors.
Wearing a modern suit, in California, the former sports director says he was 15 years old when the trainer at his gym gave him drugs and alcohol and slept with him. Afraid to speak out, she says she filed a complaint last year with cheerleading’s governing body, the US All Star Federation or USASF, but was met with backlash and what she describes as “annoying and unsustainable behavior.”
The USASF website shows one of the gym owners named in the lawsuit, Becky Herrera, serves as a member of the organization’s voting board. It does not indicate how long he held this position.
SC Public Radio attempted to contact Herrera and her husband, owners of CheerForce Simi Valley in Moorepark, Calif. We were told they could not be reached for comment. We also reached out to the accused coach, but he did not respond to messages on social media.
Meanwhile, the lawyer Mr. Sellers says that many cases are expected as the former cheerleaders alleging abuse continue to come forward.
“Some date back years if not decades,” says Sellers. “Some are recent.”
Girls and boys in Ohio, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and South Carolina say they were sent nude photos, drugs and alcohol, and sexual harassment in hotels, cars and private homes. Many say they told the coaches or reported to USASF but say their complaints were ignored, or they were told there wasn’t enough evidence.
“What we know in the work we do is that pain never ends,” says Daphne Young, Childhelp’s communications director. The decades-old nonprofit fights child abuse nationwide through education, services and a hotline.
Mudiki says that following the USA gymnastics scandal in 2016, Childhelp leaders met with survivors to try to find a better way to combat abuse in sports. They found that games cause problems in keeping children safe.
“Games create a culture where not only is there a greater chance of abuse, but when it happens, there is no support for the survivor,” says Young.
The lawsuits accuse Varsity, a multi-billion dollar cheerleading business, of putting its interests above the safety of children. The suits allege that the Varsity created and controls USASF, and that the association has failed to address reports of multiple abuses.
The varsity denies that it controls USASF. The company says it expects the union to investigate complaints of harassment. USASF did not respond to multiple calls and emails.
When it comes to keeping children safe in sports, Young with Childhelp believes that internal reporting does not always work. The non-profit recently released a new service called the “Courage First Athlete Helpline”. It allows players and officials to voice their concerns anonymously.
“Our helpline can be very helpful for someone who just needs to talk about something uncomfortable, says Young.
The hope is that counselors can reassure that something that feels uncomfortable is not a crime.
When did Rockstar Cheer Close?
Is Rockstar Cheer closed? His widow, Kathy Foster, announced in a statement that Rockstar Cheer is closing. “Last night I announced that Rockstar Cheerleading and Dance is closing its doors permanently,” he said. Read also : Bryan Edwards. “Although this was a difficult decision, I believe it was the best decision under the circumstances.
What happened to Rockstar Cheer? A once-popular cheerleading gym in South Carolina is at the center of a growing scandal in which its founder died by suicide, its doors closed and a growing number of coaches accused of sexual harassment and misconduct.
Is Rockstar Cheer Greenville permanently closed?
GREENVILLE, SC (WACH) – Rockstar Cheer in Greenville has closed its doors ‘forever’ after a series of sexual harassment allegations and two allegations involving Scott Foster and multiple coaches. See the article : Photos: 2022 Taste of the Broncos presented by King Soopers.
What is Rockstar Cheer’s new name?
What happened to Rockstar Cheer Greenville? The Greer-based competitive cheerleading gym closed in September amid allegations of abuse against Foster, its deceased owner and founder.
Is Rockstar Cheer shutting down?
Rockstar Cheer to close after 100 victims were listed in allegations of sexual harassment against the owner. Read also : Jack Grealish has broken into the role of cheerleader for England and Man City. The case involves 100 victims and multiple allegations of sexual harassment against the owner and several unnamed trainers.
What happened to All Star Cheer? In North Carolina, a teenager accuses two coaches at the Extreme Cheer Allstar Gym in Raleigh of sexually assaulting her and giving her cocaine. The owner of that gym says he is disappointed by the allegations. In total, 15 people have come to court accusing 13 coaches and the owner of Rockstar.
Who started Rockstar Cheer? Rockstar Cheer is a dance gym with locations in South Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, Ohio, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. It was founded by Scott Foster and his wife Kathy in Greenville, South Carolina.